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This is a Rant!

December 21, 2017 2 comments

I live less than an hour’s drive from the USA border. I follow the political crap in the USA ever since Bernie’s surge in 2016. He should be president now, making life better for citizens. Interference by several evil people; Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Schultz bitch, Vladimir Putin and others are the reason why the country is in the shit now.

Whoever you people are, who believe the Trump gang is good, and is making life better for you, what the fuck is wrong with your mind. Can you not see the truth unfolding in front of you?

When Mueller makes his move, the whole Trump gang is going fall, and if you’re one of the knuckleheads that supports Trump, you should go down the toilet too. You caused danger and misery throughout the world. You made the USA an international joke.

Trump supporters, fuck you.

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The Decline and Fall of the USA

December 11, 2017 1 comment

( Written in Nov. 2014)

I’m sorry to be watching the decline and fall of The United States of America. I live in America too… the Canadian part. When we were teenagers, back in the 1950s, everything we wanted was over the border in ‘The States’. Levis jeans were only available in the states, so here we are, an hour of easy driving and we’re in the states.  McDonald’s was only in the states, and Hershey’s chocolate, and marshmallow fluff and all kinds of big American cars. Even though life was full and good and peaceful in our big Canadian city, the USA called.

The USA had unbeatable GIs, aircraft carriers, sabre jets, Hollywood, Broadway, Miami, Chicago and Detroit. In those days, Montreal was bigger than Toronto and the Canadian dollar was worth more than the American dollar.  Crossing between the two countries was almost barely an interruption. There was no toll to cross, but a toll-type thing was there to stop you and ask a few unimportant questions to which you could answer any way you wanted. ‘Where are you going, how long are you staying, have a nice trip’. That was about it.

Now I realize that it’s Canada that is the best country, the best people, the best way of life. It is frightening how common guns are in the USA. A boy takes his Grandma’s gun to kill some other kid. What the hell is Grandma doing with a gun? They have them in their glove box, under the seat, in their pocket… as if they didn’t care that they are deadly dangerous, actually designed and built to kill and maim.

I could go on about why the USA has turned into crap, but it should be obvious. They elect and admire the shittiest people.  The Kennedy family was exalted in the states, as if old Joe wasn’t a lying, thieving asshole in bed with the mob.  He even was too low for the mob because he crossed them through his sons, and the mob showed who’s really boss. They just eliminated Jack and Bobby and peripheral people like Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby. That’s the American mob way, and it’s right up to the white house if they want to play it that way.

Anyway, thanks to people like George W. Bush and Dickhead Cheney, the plug has been pulled on the American dream. The American nightmare is coming on, and I only hope when the southern part of North America falls, it doesn’t take the northern part with it. We haven’t ruined our part, and we won’t.  And leave our water alone when you fall! We don’t need your money like the oil countries needed it when you moved in there.  We’re doing fine, thank you, so stay on your side of the border and keep your guns over there too.

The Plight of the Originals

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

A few hundred years ago, North America was sitting between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, pretty much as it is now. It was not barren, and it was not deserted. It was populated by indigenous people, living quietly and peacefully, with an abundance of land to share.

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People of the Cheyenne tribe, captured outside of their reservation, awaiting ‘deportation’

The same consuming greed of Europeans who first settled in Canada and the USA is visible in the behavior of the 21st century oligarchs, with Donald Trump as poster boy. In those early days of settling, newcomers were staking claims on large tracts of land. Why? How? Was this land theirs because they stuck a flag in it? Is the moon theirs because they stuck a flag in it?

The invasion of North America by foreign powers is an historic outrage. Considering Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower as wonderful notes in history is to take a very selfish view. The people whose land this really was are the real native North Americans. They are the people that were here for thousands of years, not our puny hundreds of years.

The real outrage is: the people who actually belong on this land are relocated. Back in the day, they were treated like animals, robbed of dignity as well as property. With gun powder against arrows, the newcomers slaughtered with bullets and disease. Thereafter, the rightful residents were shipped off to designated areas, in spite of the fact that they live off the land, and what land they’re on makes an important difference.

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Apache tribe people captured off their ‘reservation’, waiting for the train to return them.

I remember reading a book by Daniel Boone, in which he told of getting his gang together and preparing to go out to “shoot Indians.” Some American hero, huh?

We can never make restitution for the horrors wrought by our forefathers. Even to this day in the 21st century, northern native peoples live in constant discomfort. It is wrong.

Rituals

July 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Rituals organize our lives. We ritualize our days, and have special rituals for some days. Monday to Friday, we do our morning ablutions, maybe eat something, and hurry off to the job. Throughout the day, on the job, a ritual of productivity proceeds. The journey to the job and the return to home at workday’s end are also rituals. Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday might be rituals unlike the workday rituals, but rituals all the same. Those of us that embrace religion have even more rituals. It matters not which religion one chooses to follow, rituals will be a big part of it.

A young couple lived a neatly organized and busy life. They lived in a small bungalow with just two bedrooms. They planned to have a family after five years, when they could afford a larger home. The second bedroom was Richard Stern’s office, in which he worked on line for a large transportation company. Mona Stern, Richard’s young wife, was a tax consultant. She worked for a large accounting firm. She was a certified public accountant, and had risen to become supervisor over a staff of nine. It was one of several ‘cells’. The company found that ‘teams’ in separate cells were more productive.

Mona Stern enjoyed her rituals. She’d rise at six in the morning, go straight to the bathroom to relieve herself and to shower. She would wear the outfit she planned the previous evening. In the small kitchen, she would enjoy her orange juice, rye toast and coffee while watching the news and weather report on her tablet. After the weather predictions, the sports news came on. Mona turned off her tablet, put it into her handbag, and left for the walk to the office. It was five blocks to her place of business.

By eight o’clock, Mona Stern was striding happily along Acorn Road, observing the many small, neat bungalows similar to her own. Ancient Oak trees shaded the street until the next corner. The busy rush hour was under way on Charles Avenue as it was every morning. As on every weekday morning, Mona turned right and strode along the narrow sidewalk. Old industrial buildings encroached on the sidewalk. They were remnants of the industrial revolution and had stood empty for decades. Mona ignored the cars lined up at red lights. She enjoyed her walk every morning, and was comfortable in the familiar routine that she had been repeating every morning for five years.

In the next block, an old building that had been a garment factory was to be transformed into luxury apartments, with the high ceilings and huge windows as selling points. The fact that there was a change taking place along her route after five years was just a bit unsettling. It altered the routine walk to work.

There were pickup trucks along the curb. Rubber cones were guiding the heavy traffic into one lane, around the trucks. High up on the roof parapet, people were installing a heavy beam to project out from the building. It was needed to create an elevator of sorts, to carry up workers, equipment, and materials. Mona was annoyed at the traffic clamour, and hastened her pace, to escape the irregularities.

At that moment, the rooftop workers faltered in their job. The beam dropped, slowly rotating top to bottom. It did not hit the sidewalk lengthwise. End first, the beam struck the old concrete walkway, pierced it like a piecrust and buried itself two feet into the ground. It hit the spot where Mona Stern had been, a second before she hurried to get away from the cacophony of car horns and engine roars.

The blasting sounds of the beam demolishing the concrete right behind her startled Mona. She jumped and turned around to see dust and particles swirling around an eight-foot tall steel beam. A nearby worker asked if she was okay, but Mona didn’t answer, she just strode on her way to her office. She used a quicker pace than her usual, ritual stride.

Throughout the rest of her day, Mona Stern struggled to do her work on the Dominica and Bolivar account. She struggled to stay focused while she assigned her team to various parts of her employer’s largest and most profitable account. The dropped beam, and the vast repercussions that might have come had it hit her, invaded her mind. She sat at her desk and analysed the routine that she knew so well. She began to question the wisdom of so regular a routine. Perhaps a change of situation, rather than a predictable routine, would be safer and perhaps beneficial. Mona resolved not to follow her usual, routine stroll home.

The office closed at four-forty-five. Mona Stern took the time to leave her files in impeccable order, her desk clear and the tools of her profession alongside her computer keyboard. She left the building moments after her staff and coworkers departed. In her normal routine, she would turn left and stride the route home. On this occasion, Mona turned right out of the building and strode in the direction away from home, husband, and fallen beam.

With no preparation and little thought, the young woman strode as far as the train station and boarded a train because it was leaving soon. Mona Stern didn’t care where the train was going; she just needed it to be free of routine.

At the point where the train journey terminated, Mona left the train. She attained an apartment, a professional position, and a new life. She fell in love with a co-worker that fell in love with her. They moved in together. Meanwhile, the young husband back home was frantic with worry. It seemed the authorities could not find Mona because she changed her name to Rose Kroll.

Rose Kroll, formerly Mona Stern, lived with her new husband in a neat bungalow within walking distance of her office. Her new husband began to work from home designing furniture. Every morning Rose showered, enjoyed orange juice, rye toast and coffee while watching the news on her tablet. When the weather forecast ended and the sports news came on, Rose Kroll left the home to walk to her office.

The Human Need for Stupid Stunts

June 10, 2017 1 comment

Bernie and I were both 17 years old. He was a couple of months older than I was, and we were close pals. In fact, our steady girlfriends were identical twins, one with him and one with me. We eventually married the twins, but that’s another story.

One night, Bernie and I went out to the quiet, wide highway 400 to do a stupid stunt. It was in the 1950s, when cars were huge. I was driving my father’s massive, cream coloured ’57 Buick Roadmaster. Bernie was driving his Aunt Lillian’s dark blue ‘53 Cadillac Coup de Ville. We roared up the empty highway at 3:30 one morning. We went side by side, Bernie on my left, me on his right. I powered down my window as did Bernie’s then girlfriend, and I reached to her and she took my hand. We roared up the road at about 100 miles an hour (160 km/h), two feet apart, holding hands, for no reason except the big V8 engines could do it.

The drive for stupid stunts must be quite strong in some people’s DNA.

In Toronto and Montreal, and perhaps other cities with subways, young people leap onto the exterior of the subway car and cling to the side as the train roars through the dark tunnels. I haven’t heard if anyone’s been killed or injured yet, but it is inevitable. Why do they do it? Perhaps they believe they’re showing courage and skill, although it’s actually reckless and foolish.

We scuba dive amid predators; we race cars; we ride motorcycles across deserts; we sail boats across oceans, for sport. Some of us need the challenge, the risk, the adrenaline dose that comes with pressure or anxiety.

I’ve done a good deal of auto racing, and ridden some motorcycles, and even did a fair amount of hang gliding. I enjoyed all of it, although I don’t really know why, except for the ‘stone’ one enjoys when the adrenaline sharpens all the senses. We see better, we hear more acutely, and our bodies feel fit and strong. I now get a good feeling from reading, writing, drawing and commenting on others’ works.

If one lives past the age of reckless foolishness, one learns the value of deeper activities.

Fear is not Respect

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

I remember hearing the expression, “God fearing person.” I interpret that to mean that one had better toe the line on god’s rules. I’ve heard tough, muscled bikers declare that they have respect from the people. He means fear, just as does the god devoted. I suspect that dedicated Christian people sometimes attend church out of fear that they might be damned for not attending services. That’s why religion, in general, is bunk. Christians are supposed to believe in gentleness, generosity, and living simply.

There are millions of so-called Christians living high and handsomely, not simply. Why?

Through the media, most people know that gangsters, mobsters, and Mafia soldiers are very proud that they are respected by the community. That’s a lot of crap. One night they beat the crap out of a guy who owns a little restaurant. He likes his current supplier of smoked meats, but cowards pretending to be brave have to make him change suppliers, so they beat him. They threaten his family. The neighbourhood knows about it, so they act respectful to the thugs. But it’s just an act. It’s actually fear. They would rather pee on the punks’ shoes, but they’d get beaten.

Real respect is earned, not demanded. A dedicated doctor deserves – and receives – respect, with no fear involved. Clergymen, authors, artists, musicians all can earn respect in their own ways. Thugs and people with guns deserve fear, not respect.

Treasure Lake – Moonless

March 17, 2017 Leave a comment

The silence in the afternoon heat on the small river was ominous. The cacophony of bird and insect songs had died away as if on siesta in the midday sun. It was fortuitous however, because Caroline Rich was able to hear a hacking cough and spitting in the dense foliage to their right.

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“Stay quiet,” Caroline whispered. “They’re over there somewhere. I heard a guy coughing.”

“You’re right,” Solly Cohen said. “I smell cigar smoke.”

“I can see it!” Phyllis Snitzer said.

“It’s a good thing we stopped to discuss how to proceed,” Rob Snitzer said.

“How will we proceed, come to think of it?” Solly said.

“I’m sure they don’t want to spend the night,” Caroline said. “They’ll probably take off long before it gets dark.”

They sat in their canoes in the shade of overhanging willows. Quietly, they made ham and cheese sandwiches and drank some of their bottled water. They all took an afternoon nap. They hadn’t realized how much energy they had exhausted, as well as the toll taken by stress. Caroline and Phyllis in their bow positions lay back onto the packs that filled the centre of each canoe. With their hats over their faces, they dozed.

Solly and Rob, in the stern seats, lay back onto the small. They also fell fitfully asleep. Rob was the first to get up, wakened by the active insects that swarm after sundown. Darkness was only an hour away, and the aircraft hadn’t moved. Its engine was so loud, it could not possibly have started up without waking them.

Again, even over the din from the night creatures, coughing could be heard from the plane’s hiding place, and the cigar smoke continued to foul the pristine forest fragrance.

“This might be a break for us,” Rob said. “In the dark, we can cut straight across the lake.”

“What if they hear us?” Phyllis said.

“Solly and I can paddle silently, like the natives did,” Rob said. “We learned how at summer camp, years ago.”

“So if you don’t know how, just don’t paddle,” Solly said.

“It’s no big deal,” Caroline said. “You just have to break the water gently to avoid making an audible splash.”

“And don’t hit the gunnel with the paddle,” Phyllis said.

“Okay,” Rob said, “You know how to do it. So let’s eat light and wait ‘til after eleven to cross.”

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“Why after eleven,” Solly said.

“The moon will be down by then.  It’s going to be bright tonight, and it’s going to set at about ten-thirty.” Rob said.

The time dragged and they were getting stiff from sitting in the canoes for so many hours. Finally, the sky grew darker as the moon sank below the horizon. With the removal of the brightness that obliterated most of the distant stars, the pure sky shed a dim, serene light. There were billions of tiny specks of light beyond the more familiar, closer stars.

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The surface of the lake was absolutely motionless, like a black mirror.  As the four friends set out to stealthily cross the lake, the stars appeared to envelope them. The stars above were reflected flawlessly in the mirror surface, giving the canoeists the sensation of paddling through eternity, with stars all around, above and below them.